Cultural Capital

With cobbled streets steeped in history and a thriving cultural scene (including the world's largest arts festival), Edinburgh is an award winning city that offers something for everyone.

Edinburgh is a city like no other. It is steeped in history, seamlessly blending old and new, providing locals with the sights, sounds and tastes of a diverse and vibrant city. Being a popular city with tourists there are countless pubs, clubs and restaurants to keep you entertained, including a few with Michelin Stars. 8 of the top twelve visitor attractions in Scotland are based in Edinburgh.

The Festivals and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo attract millions of visitors every year.

History and Culture

Edinburgh's historical and cultural attractions, together with its annual calendar of events have made it the second most popular tourist destination in the United Kingdom after London, attracting over one million overseas visitors each year.

Scotland's capital city is perhaps best known for its year round programme of festivals including the Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which, since its inception in 1947, has grown into the biggest annual international arts festival in the world. 

Hosting twelve international festivals and a host of other major events throughout the year, the annual programme of festivals are a unique cultural phenomenon and attract over 4 million people. Only the Olympics and the World Cup exceed the number of tickets sold for Edinburgh’s festival events and each August, the city welcomes thousands of tourists and performers from every corner of the globe to enjoy three exhilarating weeks of the very best in international opera, music, drama and dance.

Diverse multicultural population

In 2016, Edinburgh was named cultural capital of the UK ahead of the likes of London, Manchester and Liverpool. The number of museums and galleries, libraries, listed buildings, and theatre and live music shows were key indicators used to rank the cities’ cultural impact.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival

In 2004 Edinburgh became the world's first UNESCO City of Literature, an accolade awarded in recognition of its literary heritage and lively literary activities in the present.

Clean, compact and safe, Edinburgh regularly tops the list of European cities where people would most like to live. It has a diverse multicultural population and has something for everyone. The city is compact enough to see the sights, shop till you drop and experience the nightlife all without catching a bus.

Websites such as This is Edinburgh,  The List and offer lots of suggestions for things to do and see in this wonderful city.


Get in touch

Investor Support Team

City of Edinburgh Council


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